venneman's blog

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Denver get together

Hi, everyone! I'm fairly new to the Denver, Colorado area and would love to get to know some other knitters around here. Any thoughts on a get-together sometime and somewhere?

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Back at it

I've been away from knitting for a while, thanks to life getting too hectic (excuses, I know). Anyway, back at it and doing a simple scarf just to get the feel back. I found some great merino/cotton yarn I bought a long time ago, and decided this would be great yarn to get my hands back into it. So far, it's going great!

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Four months later...

It's been several months since I've posted anything. Here's a quick update: Doing a toque for my daughter, boxed up the scarf for my deployed friend, finished a dressy scarf for my MIL, and a fun scarf for a good friend. I've got a bin full of yarn, and I'm packing it all up to move to Savannah, Georgia. Yeah, I'll really fit in there! well, it'll be fun. Are there any knitters here in Savannah? Let me know... I'll be there mid-December.

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Got my wife hooked

Well, my wife is sitting on the couch right now knitting me a scarf. Tee hee... I got her to take up knitting!

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Three projects down, many more to go

I finished the black scarf for my soon-to-be-deployed friend, and I want to get it in the mail right away. But it occurs to me that I probably want to wash it & get it to soften up a bit. How to do this? I've heard several different things to use as far as soap goes: dishwashing liquid, "top of the lamb" (or something like that) wool soap, vinegar... Could someone out there give me a bit of advice on how to wash these items? I know I shouldn't toss it in the machine, agitate it too much, wring it, twist it, etc. But what do I use as far as soap? Also, how do I keep wool from shri

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A vacation of knitting

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!

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Third scarf & a question for experienced knitters

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.)

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Making it happen

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.

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For the troops

http://www.geocities.com/helmetliner/

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.

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First blog attempt

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.

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