Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thoughts about knitting

I cleaned out some of my old knitting notebooks recently and came across a hilarious essay I wrote about knitting when I was 18 -- four years into my "knitting adventures." I thought I would share it with you so you can laugh at me and with me....

"My adventures in knitting began when I was 14. Oh, sure, I had taken up knitting needles before that time, but never seriously.

My inspiration came from a conversation I overheard between my
mother and a friend of my mom's. The friend was lamenting the fact that it was hard to find a good wool sweater. My mother, who had made many knitted items for me and my sisters growing up, suggested she try knitting a sweater. The friend of my mother's never did take up knitting, but I did.

Soon I was begging my mom to take me to a knitting shop to buy some wool. I couldn't afford much at the time. I had to fund this project myself and only had the $3 a week I got for mowing our lawn. But I was happy with my purchase -- a hunter green bulky wool/acrylic blend to make a pullover sweater.

I worked diligently on that first sweater, often taking my knitting to the kitchen after school to knit and talk to my mom as she made dinner. I finished the sweater and wore it with pride those first few weeks. But alas, it was bulky and ill fitting and made me, an already chubby child, look even chubbier. And I missed the feel of pure wool. I vowed to never touch acrylic again. It was soon thrown to the back of the closet and forgotten. But I was hooked on knitting.

I dug up my Scottish grandmother's needles and found and old picture of her knitting in Long Island, New York with her friends. With that inspiration I began wool vests for me, my mom and my two sisters. It became a Christmas tradition for me to make them wool vests for Christmas. Unfortunately it was hard to hide what I was doing and they would always know about their presents
ahead of time.

During my first trip to Scotland I started the tradition of buying wool as a souvenir and made a lacey vest from wool purchased from the wool mills at New Lanark.

This past year when I went again to Scotland I bought wool, again, for two more vests.

NOTE: the two vests turned into a fair isle pullover which then turned into this tea cozy. My knitting always gets recycled.... I know, it's a bad habit of mine. But when you only had $3 a week for yarn you learn to reuse and reknit things....

My knitting has changed. I am more interested in fine gauge, old fashioned patterns. But my mantra for pure wool remains the same. So much so I took up spinning to support my knitting habit.

I am by no means finished learning all the techniques I need for knitting. I consider myself a beginner. But I love the inspiration and excitement I feel as the fiber passes through my hands to my two bamboo sticks and is shaped into a warm and cozy garment. There is just something delightfully wonderful about that process.

Perhaps it is strange to say, but as I knit and create I do feel oddly closer to the women before me who, out of dire necessity, washed, carded, spun, plied and knitted garments for themselves and their loved ones. May the process never end.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Knitting Spaces

On Friday I posted about knitting outside -- well, here is my knitting space inside. JK and I had to combine offices and use my old office as Baby John's room.

It is working out well. JK and I have a blast together when we are both working from home. I have a little window ledge I can lay out some of my knitting to muse on while I work.

I cleaned up my "idea board" and I know actually have room for my "ideas."

And, of course, I always have new skeins of yarn just waiting to be touched and molded into something new. I think it's inspiring to have yarn around - don't you?

I would show you what is on my dress form but that's a surprise that will come out in September! And yes, it is a free pattern! Don't we all love free things?

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Rainy Saturday

You probably get tired of Saturday morning coffee shop pictures from me. But it's my favorite thing to do on a Saturday morning.

This morning JK and I were out at 8 AM and managed to leisurely walk around the Zionsville Farmer's market before it started raining. Once the rain started we dashed to G. Simons for coffee.G. Simon's has a tiny seating area beneath their front awning. It's a fun place to sit because you can "people watch" as you talk. Of course my big knitting bag went with me. It rained quite a bit while we sat and had coffee and talked, but we were dry and happy.

I tell you, there is nothing like a Saturday-morning-coffee-shop knit. It's the best!

PS: I'm getting bigger, aren't I? I feel like my cheeks look like a chipmunk's and I'm wearing a basketball on my tummy! 5 more weeks! I'm not too sure I'm mentally prepared for this little guy -- but I'm so excited about meeting him!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Knitting Outside

The weather was a bit rainy yesterday, but the temperature was so pleasant I couldn't resist moving my office outside for the afternoon. I had patterns to edit, patterns to write and some test knitting to do.
My mom has made our deck and gardens burst with color and greeny goodness this year. It is so lovely to have a cup of tea in the garden in the late afternoon.

I'm suffering from a bit of a head cold right now. It has made me feel like sitting in a big comfy chair and just staring. Colds in the third trimester are just as bad as colds in the first trimester I have determined. You brain is sapped by the baby and your energy is sapped by the cold. I am really missing the second trimester....

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Pearl Street Scarf

I'm sure you all are wondering if I'm working on any new patterns for adults! Yes, I am. Here is one that is about to be finished.

The Pearl Street Scarf is a lace scarf knit sideways. I got the idea for it when I was out in Boulder, Co walking up and down Pearl Street window shopping. At that time, everyone was wearing a cloth scarf around their neck -- even some of the young men.

I was tempted to buy a scarf just to fit in. But then I realized, no, I needed to knit one! So here we are!

This is a fun knit that uses sock yarn and US #6 needles. I found it almost mindless and am eager to cast on another. For some reason mindless knitting is appealing to me right now....

It will be out soon... stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Brown Bear Cardigan

Another wee little knit is off the needles for Baby John. This was so much fun to do. Little knits go so fast and are so rewarding.

Yarn: Wash Day Wool from Reynold's Kids Collection
100% Superwash Wool
This yarn is really soft once it is washed. Lovely!

Pattern: My own design for Baby John

Needles: #2
I have found that I really like knitting small gauges for babies.
Little arms and legs look so uncomfortable in big chunky knits.

The next one on my needles is a cute little yellow sweater for Baby John. It's going to be adorable! =)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Baby Leg Warmers

Check out Fig & Plum's newest FO -- the cutest baby leg warmers. Aren't they darling? It's a free pattern from I Knit, That's It. Oh, so cute. I think I've got to make some.... add that to the list.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Baby Knitting Planned

Well, since my last post we've been to Labor & Delivery Triage twice to stop premature contractions. This little boy wants to come out and experience summer I think. I'm on medication now and relegated to "house rest" although, thankfully, I'm not barred doing small things.

But all that activity has made me get my act together regarding Baby John's knitting. On the needles right now is a lovely chocolate brown cardigan. And, as you can see above, I've got grand plans for more. (Although, realistically, I know I won't get it all done.)

Bobby isn't too sure about all this new activity in Baby John's room. He's taken to sleeping under the crib with all his bones or sleeping in my chair in Baby John's room. I think Bobby is thinking the room is for him. Ha! Poor guy, we'll have to make sure the transition goes smoothly. He's so used to being the baby in the family.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Shibui Onesie

Isn't this vintage baby onesie by Shibui adorable? Oh... all the things to knit in the next 7 weeks....

Getting Ready...

I've got 7 weeks left until Baby John arrives! I can't believe it. Time has flown. Definitely the second trimester was a "babymoon" of sorts. Now I'm back to feeling foggy in the afternoon and totally drained around dinner time. But, I suppose that's normal. I'm getting eager to get this hot, squirmy basketball off my tummy -- I suppose that's normal too.

Little things have been arriving for Baby John. I just had to show you this adorable soaker from, I think, NancyL. Thank you so much Nancy! It's sooooo cute! I'm dying to know what pattern you used. Or did you make up your own? Do let us all know because it's just so cute.

Have a great Saturday. It looks like our Saturday will be a stormy one. But that means I don't have to water the garden! Hooray!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Beach Street Knitting Society

I'm off for a bit of a read right now. I've been ordered to put my feet up for the rest of the afternoon and chill out. I had pretty intense contractions for 6 hours last night -- contractions that were for the most part 5 to 1 minute apart. I'm not supposed to be having those right now.

Two things I've decided since experiencing "contractions." 1 - it will be a lot better when I'm 39 - 20 weeks. Contractions when you are in your 32nd week are VERY stressful. 2 - the breathing bit that they teach you in childbirth class is a bunch of bunk. Sorry to be so strong about it. But I'm convinced it does nothing but exhaust you. Perhaps I'm not breathing correctly. I'll have to check with someone on that. Perhaps they have a "breathing" video somewhere online.

But, back to the book above. I've been eagerly awaiting the arrival of this book, hoping against hope that it is really good. I'm on page 35 and I'm not so sure. I can't get into the story line. Has anyone else read it?

Friday, July 3, 2009


Happiness is waking up on a Friday morning and realizing you have the entire day to spend with your husband.

We took an early morning walk to Starbucks to sit & read & of course knit.

Bobby enjoyed the walking bit. But he's not too fond of the sitting bit. He hates to sit on concrete so I usually pull up a chair for him. I know it looks funny, but it makes him a little happier. He's always SOOO happy when we start walking home again.