Well, I'm back from vacation, and boy are my knitting needles tired! While gone, I did 1/2 of my hemp scarf for my soon-to-be-deployed friend, ripped up my alpaca scarf for my MIL, started and finished a scarf for my mom, and got my niece hooked on knitting. I also received an order from elann.com yarn, bought from a knit shop near my mom's place in Eugene, and learned to think about more than just "I want natural fibers" when picking out yarn. But to top it all off, I now have orders from people for scarves, Christmas present projects, and a lot of work ahead of me. How fun!
Does anyone know how to translate a knitting machine pattern for hand-knitting?
I recently acquired some old knitting magazines from friends who are moving out of the country. In one of them, there is a lovely lace pattern I'd like to adapt to some shawls I'm planning.
Unfortunately, the pattern is written for a knitting machine. I just cannot fathom using a machine for such a hands-on craft as knitting... What next? Horseless carriages? Correspondances without the need for pen, ink and paper?
Time to get out my dusty old Nostradamus book and do some research. Yes I'm sure I just saw another sign of "The End". Yes, my wife has laid aside her quilting, sewing machine, and all in favor of getting hooked on the needles. With her wanting to get on a project that wasn't too basic, I gave her a pattern for a Super Chunky rib knit scarf. At the rate she's plowing through it today, all of the family, even the people we don't like, will have warm necks this year.
I still doubt I'll be able to get back to my beloved Aran's. Most likely we will both now be working on her stack of patterns from my last post, but getting everyting completed twice as fast. A small price to pay to get her involved in knitting. I knew something was up when she quit looking at me like I was speaking a foreign language when discussing what I was doing on a pair of socks.
My first project was big one. I needed a blanket for the sleeper in my truck. So I knitted one in intarsia. It has a wolf howling at the moon. My CV handle is greywolf, so I figured why not knit a howling wolf in the middle. It took 4 months to do it. I ripped it all ougt and started over 3 times. My next projects were sweaters. I have been knitting for 2 years. I hope to start a men's knitting group here in the Kalamazoo, MI area.
I've always "planned" on doing this...I've been meaning to join the Red Sweaters project, but it's hard to find Red Heart yarn in the city. The helmet liners look like a good project and appeal to me as a veteran. I like the idea of knitting for a cause, filling a need, and I've actually done it sort of by accident.
I recently finished a Baby Bobbi Bear that I knitted just because I liked the pattern (it's from Blue Sky Alpacas and it's great fun to knit and ever so cute). I didn't knit it with a recipient in mind. Well, AIDS Walk San Francisco is fast approaching and I'm raising money ($3000 if I meet my goal), so I'm constantly trying to think of fundraising ideas. That's where the bear comes in. I took it work, set it up next to my desk with a "Silent Auction" sign and gave folks a week to submit bids. The auction ended this morning and the bear sold for $104, all of which will be donated to AIDS Walk San Francisco! Here's the key lesson learned: Make sure people know that YOU did the knitting! Once I added that important bit of information, people were much more willing to bid.
I'm now working on my third scarf. I've been getting smaller with my needles and yarn, but I think I may have bit off more than I can chew, at least comfortably. While I'm waiting to go to Oregon and buy the black yarn for my military friend (I'm thinking hemp... comments?), I'm doing a 100% alpaca yarn, sport weight, using size 5 needles & doing a "pill stitch," k1p1. This is a challenge! But I'm enjoying it. Right now, I'm about three or four rows in, and it looks gorgeous.
I do have a stupid question for people, tho. As I knit, the yarn coming off the skein gets twisted. Is this normal, and is it okay if I spin the scarf to untangle that yarn? Also, should I be concerned with the frayed appearance of the yarn? It's not nice & smooth. (Of course this is alpaca, so I think I just answered that last question.)
Well, I think I already have one person convinced to start making scarves for the troops overseas. Strangely, one of my daughter's TaeKwonDo instructors knits... He just started knitting, says he's on his 8th scarf so far. I told him if he wants to make one or two for the troops & get it to me, I'll send it out. This hits even closer to home as on the front page of the Wisconsin State Journal is an article saying another 1020 Wisconsin National Guard troops are being deployed. That's more Wisconsin NG soldiers on active duty than there has been since Kennedy was in office. It's getting to be such that everyone knows someone who's either been deployed or who has friends & family serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Well, a couple of days ago I learned that my best friend is being deployed to Iraq. He's in the Army Reserve, meaning he's got crappy equipment. So, I've been looking for ways to send him something, and I've found several patterns & requests for helmet liners. If any of you have ever worn a Kevlar helmet, you know they can get a little drafty underneath. Riding in the back of a truck wearing one, and it can get pretty cold. Plus, there's no protection from your face. Plus, having been in Iraq myself, I know how cold it can get at night. So, I downloaded a pattern. While I am not at the level where I could do it myself, I hope maybe by posting this I can get some folks on here to chip in the way our parents & grandparents did in WW2, knitting sweaters, socks, scarves, and hats for the soldiers overseas.
Well, here goes. Where should I begin? Okay. I started knitting a couple of weeks ago, motivated by an article in one of our local papers, the Wisconsin State Journal. The article looked at men who knitted, something I had wanted to learn since childhood but never did (men don't knit, unless they're, well...). I'm not, well... so I never picked it up. No, I'm not homophobic, anti-gay, or whatever. I was just sensitive to people's perceptions of me and since I am short & overweight, not athletic, etc., what little I could do (or not do) to keep me "manly" in the eyes of my peers, I did.
Today is a day to feel good about myself. The way we all feel when we weave in that last tail of the last stich of a project. In this case it was my mother's socks, originally intended to be given to her for Mothers Day, but things happend.
I always try to keep two projects going in knitting at one time. A big one and a little one like socks, but I am now at the odd point. I have nothing to knit.
Today I asked my wife if there was anything she wanted me to work on for her. Something she may like for the summer before I start up on all the winter sweaters again. I sat her down in fron of the PC and flipped open a few bookmarks of nice patterns in my browser and stopped at the top one... Knitty...