Monday, July 31, 2006

Baby Block Reprise...

Another new favourite. This little receiving/snuggle blanket knit up incredibly fast (uhh... when I had the time to work on it) and only took two skeins of Red Heart Soft 5 oz doubled on US size 15 needles. After I knit the first block like twenty times because the first 19 were too stiff, the one block looked absolutely huge! I was thinking if I knit up 6 of those, as planned and sewed them together, they'd lose the poor child in a sea of pink. So I ripped it out, (the neighbor made me go home, she said she couldn't watch me rip it out one more time) and just did one big log cabin block. Lovin it!!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Warshcloth Encourages Previous Book Addiction!

This is starting to get a little embarrassing. I mean, making a couple of things out of a book after first seeing it is one thing. Even deciding to knit only log cabin quilts for the rest of my life is understandable. But I cannot tear myself away from the Mason-Dixon book at all. I'm knitting washcloths as part of my Bridesmaid Thank-you's and found this gorgeous Denim from Schachenmayr at IDEE earlier this week and it's begging to be a Mason-Dixon Washcloth.

Only problem is: the Denim doesn't quite work for the pattern. I want the washcloths to go fairly quickly (I'm not exactly known for my patience with cotton yarn) and I don't have enough per ball to knit the normal pattern. So yesterday I surfed the web and found The Dishcloth Boutique with lots of lovely designs and also tried my old stand-by . Found lots of great patterns, but nothing that I wanted to knit as much as the MSW.

Back to the drawing board, I figure the pattern is broken up into 6 pieces, with a bobble in the middle and decreases either side. So I'm on my third version and it's looking pretty good, don't you think?

This stuff is wicked soft, too. I can't see lots more denim in my future :)

This just in: I've finished two washcloths now and not sure if I can bear to part with them. I could just kick myself for not trying washcloths earlier. I mean, I've tried them, sure - a botched attempt here and there, but never a proper, pretty, soft, want-to-use-it-for-your-whole-body Mr. Washie. This could be the start of another addiction. ;)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Block Cabin

Combining the childhood penchant for building with blocks and my incurable desire to log cabin my way to happiness, I present you with the first piece of the Block Cabin quilt for Miss Shannon Anne. Brand new daughter to Jim and Chelle and beautiful sister to Kerry Elizabeth.

I'm thinking of doing about 6 of these blocks to and sewing them together with them all facing the same way. Just trying to stir things up a bit on the log cabin front and finally knit something for Shannon :)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Spucktuch for Max

Freshly cast-off (ends not yet tied in).
Burp Cloth sounds much better in German. Spucktuch - where you make the ch's with soft sh sounds without putting your teeth together. C'mon, try it - you know you've always wanted to learn German ;) It sounds more like Spooohhk Tooohh.

Did I mention already how much I love the Mason-Dixon Knitting Book??? I worship this book and it is now one of the titles I recommend for every single knitter. As I speak I am picking up very very pink yarn (donated by my buddy Erica after she found out she was pregnant with her THIRD boy) and starting a slightly alternative log cabin. Just can't have enough log cabins now, can we???

Monday, July 10, 2006

Knitting Depression

I don't think, ever in my life, that I would have linked knitting to depression. Originally, I learned to knit when I wanted to give up smoking in the Fall of 2002. Mom taught me to cast-on and off, knit and purl and sent me back to Germany with a bag of needles and a scrap of practice yarn.

I quit smoking quite successfully and became fascinated with knitting. As I sat in front of the TV all winter of 2002, my skills were quickly honed as I searched the web for patterns and adjusted them to the wool that I could afford or what Mom had sent over from England. Dave and I stayed in a lot that winter as I was trying to stay away from the Pubs that always tempted me to smoke. I was so stuck into my knitting that I didn't notice the 20 pounds I gained and decreased desire to go out and meet people.

In the early days, knitting was a way for me to hide from the world. Since my knitting was always in my bag, I could knit to avoid talking to people in a social situation. Finishing a project would be much more tempting to me than going out to a Traditional Irish Music Session or dinner with anyone other than the Irishman. Yarn was my new best friend. It was predictable, soft, silky and if there was anything I didn't like, I could rip it out and start over again. And hooo boy! the reactions when I gave people woolly gifts. The Irishman was absolutely delighted with the first hat (1st project ever!) I produced and wore it religiously until the temperatures went below zero (even though the pitiful thing looked more like a tea cozy). Since then I've whipped off gifts for anyone that would stand still or have an occasion for me to knit for. That's a high that still hasn't worn off ;)

Last year I started depression medication and since then, my social skills have been on a kiddie roller coaster. Desire to meet people has risen, but I'm out of practice. Like I plan a party and then freak out at the prospect of standing in the middle of 6 guests (introducing people and leading conversation), so I hide in the kitchen. Luckily, I've met some very nice people in the past couple of years, who are very understanding, patient and capable of starting conversations on their own. My knitting has turned into conversation starters and reasons to meet up with people and generally make friends. I'm getting married in August - it's going to be my final test, since I will have absolutely no reason to hide in the kitchen and avoid guests.

My knitting has transitioned with me to reflect things I knit for people I love and the creativity of exploring ideas with my yarn stash. Also, I can have a knitting break without freaking out and thinking "Would a real Knitter ever stop for this long????"

I've stopped worrying about being a Real Knitter and have simply started to remind myself daily to have fun. I feel like the Velveteen Knitter, hehe.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

It's been one busy summer!

First we spent a lot of energy cheering on Team USA in the World Cup.
Italy Game

Ghana Game

In the middle of all of that, I've start an itsy garden, I've got zuchinni, tomatos, beans and peppers - but no produce yet :)

I whipped off my first pair of Jaywalkers with Hot Sox stretch. Tiffany has them and promised me a picture asap. I also finished a Burp Cloth for Baby Marc (Erica) and start another for Baby Max (below)

Other than that, planning a little ol' mountain wedding, lots more grilling of pork stomach and visits to the lake: