Monday, April 28, 2014

Good Knitter, Bad Blogger

I've been a very bad blogger the past two weeks, but I have been an excellent knitter. Except for three days in the past two weeks, I haven't been anywhere without some project with me. For the first week it was a pair of socks that I was working on obsessively while I was waiting for the last of the snow to melt. (It has and there is currently no snow, but a lot of rain.)

For the last week, I have been working on a very special project. The project is so special that even my mom's cat decided that she had to help me out by laying on top of my knitting bag that my yarn was in. It is a lace shawl that I am making for my best friend's wedding present.

I have had some interesting difficulties with this shawl. Now, it is on a timeline (the wedding is in three weeks) and I kept running into trouble with the beaded lace border in the Mermaid's Shawl that I had first cast on to knit for her. I ended up frogging that whole thing last sunday and dragged out my favorite stitch dictionary to find a lace pattern that was easy to do and easy to memorize.

With those two things in mind, I ended up picking out the Old Shale stitch pattern (also known as Feather and Fan). I'm doing a garter stitch border on the sides of the shawl as well as the bottom and the top.

There has been a week worth's of knitting in this shawl so far. I have taken it to a college meeting (where I got to hold a desert fox) and it has been knit on during the Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug. I have knit at least two repeats on it a night and tinked back at least five different rows on it because I made stupid mistakes. The only place I won't knit on it is during my thirty minute break at my first job because the row is so long and I can't put it down in the middle of a row.

I am in serious love with this shawl. I am using the laceweight version of Knit Picks Gloss in Lilac. The lace is so cushy with the merino/silk blend and it shines in the sunlight. The lace is going to be nice and airy because I'm knitting it with US 7 needles. There is nothing I dislike about the shawl right now.

Right before I cast on for the shawl, I did to a Ravelry search to figure out how many stitches I should cast on for the pattern and I couldn't find any patterns. I know it is a really simple pattern and most people can think of a way for it to work like I did, but there are people out there that are highly dependent of patterns. So, when I finish it, I'm going to write up the pattern and put it up for free on Ravelry.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Portable Knitting: Socks, Cars & Other Places

Every once in a while there is a question that keeps popping up. Where do you knit? And, more importantly, what do you knit if you knit somewhere outside your home?

Unlike most people, I learned to knit on the go. My friend Rebecca and I taught ourselves how to knit in the car while our Girl Scout Troop went to Savannah, Georgia. Yes, it was bumpy and we lost a whole bunch of stitches during the process, but it was fun and it kept us quiet during the long trip.

Naturally, one of the places I spend the most time knitting is in my car on my lunch break at work. It is a time where I get to relax and get out some of my frustration of working part time in a fast food restaurant. Most days, I don't really get a real break, so this stolen knitting time is a wonderful treat. It helps me decompress even if I am knitting in a smaller space and have to put my seat back from the steering wheel to get some room to put my needles.

I also only knit socks when I am out and about. I have tried knitting on several other projects when I am traveling, but I keep coming back to socks. They are small enough that they don't get in the way of other things that I might be doing. The needles are short enough that I'm not disturbing anybody or getting my needles caught on other things. Finally, the socks never get long enough to be really heavy on the needles or unweildy. This was the major reason why I stopped knitting scarves on the go. They would just get too long and heavy to carry around comfortably.

The only other places I knit a whole lot that isn't my own home would be my fiance's house, waiting at doctor's offices, and in our local library while waiting for my family to make their book choices. My book choices are mostly taken care of because that is my other job, so I tend to spend a lot of time there.

So, dear readers, what about you? Do you like knitting anywhere or are you a mostly knit at home kind of person?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Knitting, Life, and Learning to Write Again

It has been six months since I have even thought about this blog. In that time I have gotten work in two part-time jobs and have all but given up my hobbies and life to my jobs. I had been living and breathing work day in and day out. When I wasn't working, I was worrying about work or about how to find a different type of work. All the things that I was supposed to be figuring out in college and never really did since I was too busy worried about passing my classes and getting good enough grades.

I had lost joy.

But then, I picked up the pure alpaca sweater that I had been working on for my mom and tried to remember how I felt when the yarn passed through my fingers. The endless blue and white stripes reminded me of sea spray. The finished fabric was soft and drapey and almost fluid when held. Figuring out how to knit the collar on was a challenge and by the time I had finished I felt proud of the work I had done.

Best of all, my mom loves her sweater.

I am still working two jobs, but I am working on getting my life back from the endless day to day grind. I have finished a pair of socks for my fiance and I'm working on a shawl for my best friend's wedding as well as a pair of socks for myself.

I like to write and I like to share. I had just forgotten about that and you should never forget what makes you happy because then what is the point of it all?

I'm sorry if this feels really negative to some of you, but I feel like I need to get this off of my chest. The transition from being a full time student to a working young adult has been really difficult. It finally feels like I can start knitting again and I have discovered a really important thing.

I really need to knit more socks.