Saturday, February 28, 2009

Vintage Knitting Needles

I spent some time this morning organizing the studio (which is my creative space in the house). It's been overrun lately with crafty projects and design work- and frankly was just a mess. I plan to do a post about the studio once I get everything organized and the way I want it. 

While I was cleaning I came across my grandmother's knitting needles. When Mom gave me these I wasn't even a knitter (and neither was she). She was giving away all of my grandmother's yarn and knitting tools to people who would use them and I guess she just couldn't give away Nan's favorite case. So it came to me with the thought that someday I might want it for something (and was Mom ever right). 

The wooden case has a wonderful little detail of a skein and needles.

 A few of the needles inside have a bit of rust on the ends where they indicate the size, but most are in perfectly well-used condition. I think they are just beautiful and the whole package of case and needles is a treasure.

No super chunky needles here- 9's are the biggest. All the needles are metal except for one plastic pair. They feel much different from the plastic needles we have now- sort of rubbery.

They are all beautiful soft colors.

There are some single needles- further proof that having needles disappear is something that has plagued knitters since the beginning, and will continue to plague them for all time.

And then there are these.
They are horribly bent (probably from years of abuse by kids and then grandkids), but have the most wonderful detail of measurements engraved into each of the needles. 

It's a little hard to see because they are very worn. 

I can just picture these when they were new- ruby red, really slick looking (you could knit something fierce with these that's for sure). And so clever having the measurement built right in!

There was also a pack of "knitting pins". 

Great packaging 
And look at this advertising on the back- 

If you crochet too, now you can have a hook without a fault!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Knit Night

Tonight I went to a colleagues house for a knitting night. It was the first one she's put together- and I was fully prepared to not know anyone in the room, but I'm always up for knitting so it sounded fun to me.  It turns out I had some sort little connection to almost all of the woman who were there. One person is a graphic designer and works with someone I went to college with. Another woman and I know quite a few of the same people, and so on through the room. But more than those pleasantly surprising connections the knitting and the vibe of the entire night was great.

We all chatted easily over a yummy dinner and drinks, then the knitting came out, we talked shop- who was knitting what and plenty of "does anyone know how to's". The group was a good mix of knitter levels, beginner all the way to experienced. When someone had a question or issue there was always someone else who was able to help.

I made good progress on the bunny despite the high level of conversation (it really is a pretty easy pattern and it's on big needles). I almost got through the entire back. Right now it looks like some sort of a bunny shadow.

It's been a long time since I've had a knitting night. I used to have one- but once it dissolved due to conflicting schedules, I never joined or organized another one...I almost forgot how fun they can be. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lucky Rabbit's Foot...Well Feet?

So I've mentioned that I'm starting a few felted rabbits for Easter. They are just a fun Spring project in general, and knit up quick and easy. 

Last year when I made one of these it was my first felted project and my first knit toy. I had so much fun I wanted to make a few more but I got totally wrapped up in the finishing- What pose did I want the ears to dry in? What type of eyes should I put on him? And that really slowed me down, the holiday passed with my second bunny still on the needles. So this year I'm getting an early start

Last night I got two feet done for the first one-

and I'm very interested to see how this felts up (I didn't do a swatch...) I know, I know, I'm just asking for trouble and could run right into it with the white possibly not felting as much as the colored wool...but I just didn't feel like doing a swatch. Plus in our house we don't have a washer and dryer (why we still haven't bought one and had a plumber come to put in hook-ups I'll never know- chock it up to another thing on the long list of house projects) and I didn't want to go through the hassle of felting a swatch at the laundry mat. 

These aren't good excuses- it really just has to do with me being impatient so I promise not to complain if this rabbit ends up a half-felted muddy colored mess. (Because I also have no idea how this color mix on the other wool will felt.) Wish me Luck.

Between bunnies I might sneak in an Irish inspired cabled scarf in honor of St. Patrick's day and some St. Pat's cards. I'm also still finishing up that purple scarf but other than that, Rabbits are the the plan for next few weeks.

If your interested in making some Bunnies for yourself the pattern is from Fiber Trends, it's called Bunny Fun.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hey baby, what's your gauge?

I have recently realized that I have a pattern problem. Relatively speaking I have a lot of patterns and have knit very few types of items when compared to the number patterns I have.

In this binder are all the loose patterns I've accumulated. Some I've bought, a few are ones I've altered, and a lot are ones I've printed from the various free sources online. And this doesn't even include all the books I've purchased that are also full of patterns. 

This one binder might not look like a lot...but what you can't see is that I have about 6 patterns crammed into each of the plastic sleeves. (Thats because I sadly, or perhaps subconsciously, underestimated the number I truly had.)

Why haven't I made more of these patterns which I clearly loved so much since I have bought, printed, reworked, collected and saved? With all of these patterns just waiting, why do I have so many simple scarfs?

Whenever I do knit a new pattern it's like unlocking a wonderful mystery that I've been given all the clues to solve. I love seeing 
the yarn amazingly take its rightful shape with each row I accomplish.

And because of that I'm totally drawn to collecting patterns. Take this one for the Trumpet Flower Cardigan

I saw this in the webs catalog and knew I had to have it. I love it. I was so excited to buy it- but I didn't buy the yarn to make the sweater, or even check the stash when I came home to see if I had anything to make it with. But I had to have this pattern, I sought it out as soon as I was in the store.

Or this one, for the Brea Bag- free with purchase of this yarn. I bought the yarn to make it on the spot. I loved the pattern and wanted the bag.

A week later while looking through the bag section of the binder (yup there's a bag section) to file this new love away, I realized we have a past. Turns out we go way back. Seems we've hit it off before. I had already printed this years ago from the Berroco site. It was like hitting on someone in a bar you've already dated- and didn't remember. 

Yup this is a picture of the one I already in the binder. It's twin now lives in a plastic bag with the yarn so I'll remember what I was planning to make with it.

Have I picked-up so many patterns I've actually forgotten their faces and names? To my horror I have just realized that I. am. a. pattern-picker-upper!

I hate to admit this but I even have patterns for crocheted items- and if you saw my weekend update you'd know this was a real long shot. What the heck am I doing with crochet patterns!?!

I think I like the possibilities that a pattern represents. I could knit that trumpet cardigan. I have the code to unlock its beautiful mystery. I can just see it all done and lovely and it's my favorite item, I'm so proud I've actually made it. But I didn't buy the yarn to make it, it's not even on the radar as a possibility in my mental list of projects. 

I think I don't knit most of these patterns for a few reasons... 

1. The obvious- Even if I knit every waking second, I now likely have more patterns than I can knit in a lifetime. Especially since I doubt this will stop me from continuing to get new patterns.

2. I like to knit while I do other things. Knitting mindlessly while I watch a movie or waiting someplace boring is in direct opposition to knitting from a pattern which I have to pay attention to.

3. I think I'm a bit scared or in some sort of knitting rut. I'm always trying new stitches and techniques, but I think I'm a little intimidated by big projects that I might not be able to do.

So I've resolved to try a new pattern for my next project. I started a few felted Easter bunnies already and have been planning a cabled scarf- but I am going to find something new to put into the queue and get it started soon! I just have to decide on what it is.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Update: Weekend Surprizes

Today gets an unusual two posts in one day. Here's a clue about what the surprise was.

Any guesses?

Here's another picture...

Yup, we went to see Coraline! YAY! I've been wanting to see it. Turns out Steve read an article about all the crafting and set design and that went into making the movie and thought I had to see it on the big screen. There is only one theater in our area actually showing it in 3D so we went there. It was great. If you haven't seen it yet, get yourself to the theater.

When we got out of the movie, there was another surprise- it was raining. I made the comment that since we were getting rain instead of snow it meant Spring was here.

As we drove home (about 30 minutes north) from the theater, that rain slowly turned into this

And by the time we got home this was what our yard looked like.

 So correction Spring is apparently 30 minutes south.

Well at least someone liked it- Lucy was having fun.

P.S. Curious about why I needed to have warm clothes for Steve's surprise- I always get really cold in the movie theater. 

More Mom Weekend Knitting and Other Surprises-learning to crochet?

Mom came up yesterday for another weekend knitting lesson/shopping trip/show and tell. She brought with her the latest scarf she knit- and it's gorgeous! 

The yarn she used self striped into these beautiful blocks of pinks, greens, and lavenders.

We went to Webs while she was up here. I got some needles, this terrific lace weight yarn from Malabrigo. In Cuarzo 97 and Purple Mystery 30 (a lovely dark purple that looks solid until you look close and realize there are indigos in there too).

I also got a needle felting kit! I am so excited to try this, can't wait!

And shock of all shocks! This weekend- I think I finally managed to crochet something.... quick, someone check to see if the earth is still turning and nature is on it's normal course! 

I have thus far, never been able to crochet. I was totally in the "crochet is stupid" camp and a card carrying member of the "what the hell is crochet doing in knitting patterns anyway" club.

4 people have tried to teach me, I've looked at books, I've read online, watched videos- and nothing. All I would end up with was a wonky chain stitch and a jumble of knots all piled up in this horrible mess. I have exhausted the ability of some of the finest crocheting friends I have. One memorable lesson ended with my friend (who was "sure she could teach me" because, "I obviously hadn't been shown right" since, "if you can knit you can crochet") saying  " I have no idea what you are doing, and I need a beer!" Where she promptly went to my fridge and opened the first bottle she found.

I was up late on Friday night and happened to find a wonderful video tutorial from knitwitch. And I think I've got it! I managed a tiny scrap of something that doesn't resemble the normal jumble of knots I usually get and even seemed to gain length in actual logical rows as I did more. There may be hope yet... thanks knitwitch you must truly have magical powers.

One final note on weekend surprises- When I woke up this morning Steve said he had a surprise. I needed to be ready by 10:30 and have casual warm clothes on. I can't imagine what it could be- but it sounds fun. I was just happy that he made pancakes with turkey bacon both mornings this weekend (he really makes the best pancakes ever and somehow gets the turkey bacon crispy just like real bacon, Yummm) I didn't need a surprise too.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...