That is all that stands between your very own introvertedknitter and winter break.
In that time I have to complete the following:
2 peer evaluations
3 small assignments (400 words or less on each)
1 large assignment (more involved work)
and one really big/super important (decide parts of my future) exam. <—No pressure
So blogging will be sparser than usual, thanks to the big bad list above, but the rewards for all of this are pretty sweet:
Sleeping in (yay)
Staying in (double yay for the introvert)
Time to catch up on shows/movies/blogging (that last one might be a yay for all of you)
Time with Family/Friends
And of course this list wouldn’t be complete without showing off what is really exciting about the upcoming break: some pretty epic plans for this.
So with the holiday season sneaking it’s way closer each day, I find myself beset with the need for gifts for others.
Thanks to the wonderful work of my bestie (Indoor Cat) I decided to brave the new world of cross stitch. I tried cross stitching once as a kid, with very little success. I picked up a starter kit a few months ago, and completed only a small portion, but as I mentioned the Holiday season is growing closer. So I bit the bullet and decided to wing it, with this as a result:
It’s the week of Thanksgiving here in the US and retailers far and wide are looking to turn a profit. Friday (or Thursday depending on the store) the doors will open and the people hungry for deals will crowd (stampede/rush/fight) their way through it. I have family that prepare for the event like it’s a sport, getting their plans in place and preparing to get up in the still darkness of early morning to brave the crush of humanity. Saturday has become increasingly known as Small Business Saturday, a chance for the “little guy” to get support and business by encouraging people to shop locally. Next Monday the deals keep coming with the somewhat newer tradition known as Cyber Monday (fun fact it was born in part because people had access to the internet at work and could therefore get some shopping done.)
All of this is supposedly good for the customers (great deals on items that are considered “hot” for Christmas, or just nice to have) it is supposedly good for stores (hence the whole Black Friday (another fun fact, it’s known as such because this was the time of the year that businesses went from being the red, to in the black with the start of the Christmas season.)
Now I could sit here and write about the issues surrounding this much materialism. I could sit here and discuss the fact that by having sales earlier and earlier (in the physical stores) it means workers have to work on holidays. I could just as easily sit here and talk about the fact that this year is just as important if not more for retailers (and other businesses) because of the stagnant economy. I could, but I won’t.
No, instead I am going to simply share that for-whatever-reason, Knit Picks has decided to have their Cyber Monday sale a week early (and run it for an entire week at that.) Now the sale started yesterday (but there should still be some fibery goodness remaining) the deals are nice and if you are a knitter on a budget it is a great way to increase some stash without spending too much.
I have been a KP customer for about 2 years now (fun fact, I purchased roving from them first, because I wanted to learn to spin on a makeshift drop spindle. The spinning didn’t take (until later) but my customer support of the company did.) I know they have been in the news in the past year with some privacy protection issues (and really bad handling of it) but in the end I decided to give them another chance. I was fortunate that my info wasn’t compromised, but still it was something I debated for a good long while.
As a knitter who really only worked with acrylics for the first 2 years of my (re)knitting life, I can safely credit KP for introducing me to new fibers and new yarn weights. Their selection and prices are good, especially for the beginning knitter or even someone looking to save some money.
This is not meant to be an all out endorsement for the website/company, more of a way of sharing some info that some of you may not be aware of. I still plan on shopping locally and I still am an ardent supporter of indie dyers, spinners and the whole shebang of awesomeness in the crafting world.
If you know of other fiber deals feel free to share in the comments, this time of the year is expensive and while I know we all want to support the businesses near and dear to us, there are some times when a deal can be a big help.
Embracing my introverted personality isn’t always easy. Frankly a lot of the time it sucks. Being misunderstood, getting called grumpy and being told I just need to get out more definitely rank up there “with things people say that annoy the living stuffing out of me.”
I get it, I do. When the constant message we are fed is that the extroverted personality is the end all be all, it can be difficult to consider that isn’t the ideal for everyone. Most of my life I struggled to fit in with the “normal” set up. I would force myself to go out with friends, I would struggle to make small talk with people and I would attempt to talk a lot during class. I had a professor even comment on this once, asking me if there was ever a thought I didn’t express, when I emphatically stated that there was a whole slew of them, the response was profound disbelief.
The fact that I forced myself to talk so much often led me to being seen as snobbish (because by the middle/end of class) I didn’t have much energy to engage anymore. I would be so exhausted being in the same room and engaging with numerous people, I would be ready for some down time, but thanks to the fun schedule I faced I was often forced to tap into that reserved energy.
It was almost like a back up battery, I could use up some of those reserves but as a result it often took longer to get back up to full speed. I’m not ashamed to say it’s taken me a while to realize this. During my time in high school and college I definitely struggled with the whole being “on” a lot of the time. I had numerous roommates throughout my time in college and so solace was not easily gained.
Maybe part of it stems from growing up with limited contact with people, which seems slightly ironic considering there were seven people living in my house. Growing up I often sought the solitude of my own room. I would spend the majority of my time up there, hidden away.I had friends, and I did interact with my family but it was never to the degree that was satisfactory. Back then, the moodiness of being a teen often overwhelmed the rational part of my brain and when I should have taken a cue and made my exit, I often tried to force (whether by my choice or not) my way through. This resulted in more than a few different arguments devolving into shouting matches as that reserve depleted and I craved escape. Solitude gained in almost anyway possible helped develop my night owl tendencies. As the house began to wind down later and later my efforts to reclaim that sweet quiet pushed me further and further to the rising dawn. I can remember on more than a few occasions staying up until after the sunrise, relishing in the quiet. My childhood wasn’t easy (so few really are) and as my teen years progressed I slowly fought that internal desire to retreat. Life spent in the company of others is a challenge even for the most extroverted people (I am sure.)
At the end of the day I still sometimes find myself tapping into those reserves. I think it has gotten to the point where my husband notices when my “introvert battery” is running low, and while I feel bad, I do still have to sometimes hide out in the bedroom alone.
As we gear up for a major family holiday (in the US) I am attempting to find ways to manage that need for solace with the need to be with family.School has left me more than a little worn out, (why is that almost everyone seems to be focused on group work all of a sudden?!?) This will mark the first year I spend with my extended family, after having acknowledged and accepted the introvert in me. Perhaps this acceptance will help me understand when I hit that reserve button, perhaps the ability to have my spouse who can help watch out for the warning signs will help. Acknowledgement of my introversion doesn’t mean I will wave the banner and proclaim to everyone I see that I am this way so deal with it, but it does mean that when I am feel more than a little over taxed I may avoid the uncle who never has a kind word for anyone (lest he and I get into it again.) It may mean I hide out in a small corner, bringing my knitting as an unofficial shield to mark against the potential onslaught. Or it may just mean I hang out in the car for a little bit before heading back in, if nothing else I can just claim I am recharging my battery (phone or otherwise.)
I am finally back at the wheel! For those of you relatively new to the blog you may not even realize I spin (it’s been that long!) After hearing about all the loveliness coming off of Shell’s Sells spindles and wheels I found myself itching to get back to it. Unfortunately there was a bit of a backlog in terms of fiber on the wheel. I had some colorful singles left over from a while ago (a long while ago) that just never managed to make it off. Well there weren’t a whole lot there, but I didn’t feel like scrapping them, instead I took some plain fiber I had left over from a Knit Picks cyber Monday binge and decided to see what would happen if I combined the bright and colorful with the heathered gray/black.
Guys? It turned out so awesome, my only sadness is not having more colorful-ness to use! Proof?
This isn’t the best photo, but it’s cloudy here today and well I was too excited to try to wait for a better light. I only managed to have about 80 yards of the stuff after it was all washed (as seen here.) Oh side not, the oh-so-bright yellows you see are not the handspun I was in a bit of a bind when I was tying and that was the first yarn I came up with.
This yarn is definitely softer and less “crunchy” than a lot of my handspun, perhaps the crazy relaxed singles are part of it? Since it is a mix of two fibers (possibly more the KP fiber is the circle roving which I believe is a bunch of recycled fiber) I don’t know that it can be attributed to that. Despite it all I am still terribly fond of it. Right now it is occupying the much coveted space on my desk, where it occasionally gets pets and loving sniffs from the cats (another side note, I have one cat that adores BFL (be still my heart) and the other seems to have a crazy obsession with merino. Both seem interested in the other fibers but it is only those two and one for each cat that prompts the burying the face and rolling around in a state of catnip like induced haze.) Anyway the yarn is probably heavy fingering to maybe sport weight ( I need a spinner’s card or one of those WPI thingies.) No idea whatsoever on what to make with it. I have a bit of the KP roving left that I could probably spin up and make as a contrasting skein, but surprisingly the wheel is occupied at the moment with some lovely merino fiber for the giant (hence the realization of the merino loving cat) more details on that at another date.
So for you spinners, do you think it was the relaxed singles that helped it be so smooshable, or could I have just become so awesome with my spinning that I am suddenly producing oh so soft yarn (not likely) Or something else?
For the knitters, suggestions on tiny projects for the skein, or do you suggest a complimentary skein be spun up so the thing can become a hat (or something)?
For everyone else, thanks for sticking around this long.
Have a good weekend!
Yes, another post about another FO, I promise I am not really as productive as it seems this week. Like I said before, a lot of projects were nearing completion at the same time and well… now you get the FO parade. Today’s offering, the second part of the holiday socks.
These were knit using my standard simple sock pattern, except I increased the stitch count to 64 (as opposed to 60 for me, or 72 for the giant) since these are intended for my MIL I am hoping they fit. They are a bit too big for me, so finger’s crossed.
The yarn is malabrigo (sigh) in the Impressionist Sky colorway and the one thing I know for certain is that these are some blue socks. They are a lovely variegated colorway, with some deep blues mingling with some lighter, but the overall color is bright blue.
Despite the brightness of the blue I am hoping she and my FIL will enjoy the hand knit gift. They ended up drawing the short straw last year in terms of hand knit gifts (I ran out of time) and so I elected to break my rule of hand knit socks and knock out a pair for each. Both of the in-laws have remarked on numerous occasions the loveliness of the giant’s hand knit socks, and his mom even mentioned the possibility of nicking a pair of his last time we visited, with that in mind I am thinking these will be a big hit.
How is your Holiday knitting going?
One would think that I had all the time in the world to knit, with all the items coming off the needles lately. The sad realities is that for the most part these projects have been pretty quick knits, mainly because my poor brain is tired and frustrated by the end of the day.
Today’s selection is probably one of my favorite knits lately,(not just because it is purple, though that helps.) I bought this yarn around my birthday, so late September. It’s been kicking about the stash for a month or so as I debated what the heck I was actually going to make with it. Most of my yarns are lace or fingering weight with a few sport thrown in for fun. So when I picked up this yarn I can safely say the only thing that I really saw was PURPLE! Now I am a big fan of this color, but the sad fact is thanks to my shortness (and relative roundness) I look like some relation to a certain famous dinosaur. So when I saw this yarn I think my brain instantly realized there wasn’t enough to make much beyond a hat or cowl.
After buying it and some other yarn for gifts and with a slightly dazed feeling I went to enter the yarn on to my stash page. Lo and behold the yarn was a worsted weight, which frankly left me feeling a little nervous. However fears were relieved knowing it was from the wonderful people at Malabrigo. The yarn in question is Malabrigo Rios to be exact and it is equal parts softness and smooshable. I let it sit in the projects to be made box (not to be confused with projects to be casted on, or projects in progress but in hibernation or…well you get the idea) as I debated its fate.
About a week ago I decided its fate, thanks in part to the sudden desire to have “ALL THE HATS” I knew my mission was clear and so I hunted for the right pattern. My first thought was to knit Molly, a pattern I have toyed with on multiple occasions, but for some reason I decided against it. Next came the idea of a simple ribbed hat (like the other ones) but this was no good as I really didn’t want to “waste” good yarn on that. After a few hours of toying with idea after idea I ended up deciding on utilizing the waffle stitch. I hunted Ravelry again (rather lazily to be honest) and after the first few pages of not finding what I wanted I decided to take matters into my own hands.
I cast on what seemed like a good number of stitches and went at it. I will say it took four to five repeats before I was satisfied it was working out the way I wanted. The next little bit was a blur as the hat became an all-consuming passion, making appearances in all of my classes (before hand) as well as securing a place in the much coveted evening knitting. After two days of working I finished and flushed with pride showed off my new hat. The cats were unimpressed, but my husband announced he really liked the stitch pattern (points to him for knowing it was a new to me one.)
I washed the thing knowing that purple tends to bleed a bit and I was right, although it was not as bad as I expected. In the end I am more than happy with my new hat, having worn it almost every day since finishing it. The pattern wasn’t too bad to figure out and it was enough to keep me interested, without being too much of a challenge to be distracting.
I cast this on a little over a week ago and actually finished it last Friday. Knit using some hand spun (my first full 8 ounces spun to be exact.) It is in my oh-so-favorite BFL and a chain ply. I definitely see a difference in my spinning from then to now (even though this wasn’t too terribly long ago.) Part of the reason for the hat has to do with the fact that I knocked out a pair of mittens in the same stuff a while ago. The other part is I seem to be on a bit of hat kick right now, which is actually pretty perfect now that my hair is short it helps with the Autumn chill. So without further ado…the hand spun hat.
My one “issue” is that the hand spun seems to be quite dense compared to commercial yarn. My guess is that since this is part of the still learning faze of spinning the loftiness isn’t there. Oh well, it works and I have another hat under my belt.
How’s your crafting going?
Hello there! The sun is shinning and the leaves are blowing about like they are ballerinas in a Hollywood style cat fight. Speaking of cats, mine are
freaking out enjoying watching out the windows. Why the optimism you ask (perhaps slight fear in your voice?) Well Dear Readers, as the title of today’s post states, I have managed to knock out an entire holiday gift. Add to that it is for a person who is pretty difficult to shop for AND the fact that I used stash yarn AND the fact that it isn’t even the second half of November yet, well you can understand my glee. I swear if it was socially acceptable to partake of a celebratory drink this early in the day I may just do it, but restraint and a desire to not develop a reputation as the soused would-be writer to my neighbors I will hold back.
The reason for such unbridled joy? Do you remember the oh-so- pastel-Easter Bunny Commeth hat? Of course you do, it is burned into each and every one of your retinas, the colors, the hues, the disturbing way it made you crave those little marshmallow sugar-coated Peeps (okay maybe that last part is just me.) Anyway the hat that we all remember was not enough for my mom’s gift. A brief summary of the reasons for the EBC hat, my mom loves all colors that are bright, vibrant and pretty much the polar opposite of me. My mom also works at a school serving lunch and going outside with the kids during recess, and she has complained of being cold. So as a knitter my mission was clear.
Behold the response to someone telling me they are cold*:
The mittens are a basic mitten shape, on US size 3 needles. I used an entire skein plus the tiny part of blue you see on the right hand-thumb. (This was left over from the hat, thankfully.) I am not quite sure why the left mitten looks so wonky in the photo, rest assured it resembles the right one, in its ability to lie flat. Yarn was the same as the hat, Knit Picks Felici Sport in Macaroon. Want to see the group shot?
With that the holiday gift knitting is heading into a more serious tone. I have less projects than normal this year, which is fine by me because, “holy cheese and rice, when did it get to be Nov. 8 ?” I can’t help but remember how this time of year I always have this overwhelming urge to knit tons of stuff for me all of a sudden. Anyone else get that feeling? Happy Friday.
I will start off by sharing a not so secret fact about me. I love knitting socks (even for the giant.) There is something just so awesome knowing that I am making a sock, maybe it’s the thrill of turning a heel, maybe it is the fact that I love all the varieties of sock yarn out there, heck maybe it’s because it’s one of those things that I can make (relatively quickly) that I know can 99%* of the time change people’s opinions on hand knits. Socks are portable, they are easy (or can be once you figure out the basics) they can be fussy, dressy, laid back and outrageous. Often times people are willing to wear things a little out of their comfort zone when they know it can be hidden under pant legs and tucked in shoes. Hand knit socks, as my husband likes to say “are like a personalized hug for your feet.” As a family of unusually sized feet (size 15(men) him, size 5-6(women) me) hand knit socks help us find that perfect fitting pair. I could go on (and on) but I think I have made my point (and I do have one) that I love hand knit socks.
Okay so secret revealing time. I struggled with how to wear my socks for a long time (yes, to all of those who would like to cleverly point out, they go on your feet, thanks.) The fact is since I started making hand knit socks, I struggled with the comfort level. It appears my otherwise “rugged”** feet are bothered by the ridges you get on the inside of the socks. (It’s the “purl side” for lack of a better term right now.) So I found myself with a plethora of wonderfully hand knit socks and I just couldn’t wear them. Of course I don’t really want to say how long it took me to figure out an “easy” fix (hangs head in shame) but I did find a fix. For now I just turn my socks inside out and hooray comfy sock time! I do plan on correcting this on future socks, I just have to figure out a way to do it that doesn’t require endless rows of purling (though I am guessing I will need to one way or another) There isn’t anything wrong with turning them inside out, it just looks a little goofy when you see the leg peek out. In the end it’s a very minor secret but one that still needed to be shared.
Do you have any secrets related to knitting? Any items you love to knit but can’t stand to wear? Have you come up with some clever tricks to get around a difficulty in using your hand knits? I would love to hear about them in the comments. Help me feel less alone!
* I understand that there are far easier/quicker ways to help people understand the awesomeness of hand knits, but socks are one of the few that have succeeded without fail for me (granted I have very limited experience in gifting, and who knows after this holiday season maybe I will have to change my tune.)
** I was a very willfully barefoot child, and even now I try to avoid shoes and socks like the plague.
I have been going back and forth on this topic for quite some time, but since the post a few days ago concerning my brother and SIL’s upcoming wee one, I have found myself even more intrigued by the idea. The difficulty on this topic, in part stems from the fact that I have not quite figured out how I define myself, partly because I know I will inevitably find a loop-hole or two (that might be needed) or not.
Knit worthy is a phrase used by knitters to determine who they might consider gift worthy. Now I know this is a touchy subject. No two knitters are going to completely agree on what defines knit worthy. In fact trying to nail down the different varieties of knitters is akin to herding cats, while attempting to nail jello to a tree. But, the way I see it, in terms of determining the knit worthy there are a few key camps that we can group knitters into (if only to make things slightly easier on you and me)
There are knitters who claim the “selfish knitter” title and wear it with pride. Selfish knitting can also be broken down into various definitions, but for the purpose of this post lets say they are the knitters who chose to knit solely for themselves or a very select few people, (usually those whom they are in a long term relationship with or sprung forth from their loins.) These knitters know how valuable their time is and if they are going to finish something it has to be for someone who will appreciate it (if only themselves.) If a selfish knitter decides to knit for someone else it is usually on a non-deadline basis and dependent on the knitter’s desires. (i.e. if I were to make something for my husband (such as a hat, he might not get it until June and it might end up being in a color and pattern I enjoy knitting.) They are sometimes known as product knitters.
There are knitters who I like to call the perpetual gifters. They knit because they enjoy knitting and once it’s done they are ready to move on to the next project. These are the knitters that tend to make something with someone else in (though not always) They are often the exact opposite from the selfish knitter. They hardly ever keep anything for themselves and in fact the few items they do have may be given freely to those who admire them. These knitters are sometimes known as process knitters.
The last group, ( I have kind of made up) is the in-between. They maybe selfish about somethings and freely give away others. They may knit for the holidays, with specific people involved, or they may just decide to do a random act of knitterliness*. These can be a combo of process and product. While I think the majority of knitters may fall into this category, I can’t help but wonder if it is just a variable ridden middle ground, because I don’t want to choose.
There is nothing wrong with any of the categories and frankly 99% of the time I think I fall into the last one (hence the reason I made it up.) I do find myself surprised from time to time when I hear about the extremes, yet I can definitely see attributes of both. When it comes to knitting for others, just as any other type of gifting, I try to remember that at the end of the day, once the gift is given it is out of my hands. I do plan to knit for my newest niece or nephew, I do so with the understanding that even though my brother was on board with the whole hand knit gifts, there is still a chance that at the end of the day I am doing it more for me.
*This is what I think of whenever I see the term RAK (which traditionally stands for Random Act of Kindness)
It’s official the Introverted Knitter has joined Twitter. Theoretically the link should be showing on the side bar of the blog. I am still new to the whole thing so please forgive the lack of tweets. I signed up in part because I saw some other bloggers posting about the awesomeness of Twitter, and well having been Facebook Free for over a month and a half now, I thought it might be time to try other social media. Any tips, suggestions, or people you think I should follow (including yourself) let me know.
In other news I bit the bullet and flat-out asked my brother what he and his wife would like for the baby. Imagine my surprise when I found out that (and I quote), “hand knit items would be awesome.” So there you have it the green light to knit for the wee one (let’s be honest I was probably going to anyway, there is only so much a knitter can do when faced with a little one and the multitude of tiny knits at their Ravelry-fingertips. (Ha, rhyming unintended) I haven’t managed to work up the nerve to ask about the other hand knit items, but I am choosing just to be happy about the coming knitting for the wee one.
Lastly on this slightly random post, the time has come to consider my options for next semester. As of now I am a bioinformatics major (fancy way of saying molecular biology meets computer science in the way of lab work.) The subject is interesting and I am doing well in all of my classes, but (and here comes a sticking point) it is looking like it is going to take me at least four years (3.5 at this point) to get a degree.(Dependent on how quickly I can pick up math courses) Now I know people out there will say, “in the grand scheme of things 4 years isn’t that long.” I am inclined to agree, except for the fact that I have done the whole undergrad thing, I have put in my time (and don’t have much to show for it in terms of job prospects) and frankly I find myself feeling more than a little burnt out with school (this hasn’t happened before, at the very least not this early.) Add to this the fact that I am uncertain of the job prospects (conflicting reports) and while I want to be optimistic, I am more than a little gun-shy after the great Religious Studies debacle. There are a few more factors in play right now, but for the most part this is what I have been wrestling over.
I think that is it for now, have to go make lunch and get ready for class. Until next time dear readers.
Exciting news at casa de Introverted Knitter, I am going to be an aunt again. My big brother and his wife are expecting their first little one in May. (This is the brother I knit the wedding blanket for last spring/summer.) When I first heard about the impending arrival I started thinking of all the things I wanted to make for the wee one. Hats, sweaters, booties for the tiny feet, and of course every baby needs a blanket. Due to the previously mentioned Denver vacation my ability to go out and buy new yarn (at least enough for a blanket) has been put on hold. No problem, I figured this would give me the chance to really find the perfect pattern (or loosely plan out my own design.)
This time has also given me a chance to ponder whether I should be knitting for this kiddo. Now hear me out before you jump at me, needles at the ready, I have knit for my nieces and nephews (the majority of which are my brother’s from a previous relationship) since I picked up knitting again back in 2010 (which seriously has only been 3 years, holy cow) and while they are all young (and thus prone to out growing or losing things) I have never heard a word about whether the items were used. Bare in mind, that in that time I have also knit for my brother and his wife (the wedding blanket being the last thing thus far) and I have not heard a peep about the knitting. Now my brother is extremely busy (4 kids and working two jobs, plus dating and then getting married) and so I don’t expect them to gush or make a fuss about the items. They have taken the obligatory photo for me, but beyond that I have no idea what happens to it all. In all honesty I think once you gift away your knitting (or sell or donate) it is the recipients choice to do with it as they wish. Now I will admit I may be a bit hurt if I found out a blanket that I spent six months and over a mile’s worth of yarn on was donated or used as a place to store muddy shoes, but I would (try) to accept it and move on.
So then I come to the question of whether to knit for the impending wee one or not. It isn’t that I don’t think the little one is knit worthy, I mean how could they not be? They are so tiny, so items for them don’t take too long, they have no verbal opinion on what they wear and so you can’t do something wrong, and they just look so darn cute in handmade items. It isn’t that I am upset about my brother not saying anything about the hand knit items, but rather it is about what it means to be a responsible knitter. At the end of the day I knit, because I like knitting, and I like
smothering wrapping those I love in woolly goodness.
I love the idea that I can give people a piece of myself and my time when I give them a hat, a mitten or a scarf. I enjoy knowing that I made something with my hands, some sticks and some string. But, I wonder does this make me selfish? Am I consumed with a desire to knit things that sometimes I lose sight of the fact that others may not want hand-made items (the thought seems foreign to me, even now) that someone may not want a handmade blanket as a wedding gift? Am I blinded by wool fumes, and I can’t take a hint that maybe instead of shelling out the cash for the yarn for a handmade baby blanket I should be spending that money on something else they might want for the baby? I am a knitter that wants my items to be cherished and used and loved. I am a person who wants to give a gift that makes the recipient feel special and loved and thought of, but is knitting the right way to do it? If the parents aren’t going to use the hats, or dress the baby in the sweater, than what was the point of spending the money and using the time to make something? If they don’t like the blanket and don’t want to use it, than is it better to go out and buy this magical device called a diaper genie?
I still haven’t decided what I am going to do. My desire to wrap the tiny human in woolly goodness is still there, but I can’t help but wonder, is that what a responsible knitter would do?
Hello Dear Readers,
I decided to take a wee break from regaling you all with my adventures in Denver. Instead I thought it might be time to share my triumphs over knitting in the past week.
First up I managed to knock out the “Easter Bunny Commeth” hat, for my mom, for Christmas. I actually finished it right before we left for Denver, but with the traveling and what not I just hadn’t had a chance to post about it yet.
I am pleased with the way it turned out and the fact that I am not completely blinded by the colors. Since I only used one skein of the yarn,(Knit Picks Felici Sport in Macaroon) I am attempting to figure out what I should do with the remaining skein. I was thinking mittens, so we will have to see if I can brave the colors again. The pattern is a slight modification of the Yarn Harlot’s simple ribbed pattern from December 2005 (yes I go back and reread posts) the tweaks were that I made a point of knitting in the round and thus changing the decreased to fit in with that. Otherwise follow the simple pattern and Bob’s your uncle.
I actually enjoyed the ease of the pattern that I decided to make another one, this time using some stashed Knit Picks Brava Sport in Cobblestone Heather. I picked up two skeins of this color and another in a deep green back in the day and have only just now convinced myself to use it.
Small Aside: There is just something about stash yarn that makes it hard to use, I don’t know if it’s just me or what, but I find myself struggling to actually use the stash yarn. I think it’s the idea that once I use it then it’s gone? Or maybe it’s something along the lines of trying to find that perfect project and fearing that once I do find a project, some other one will come along and be even more perfect. Anyone else feel that way?
Anyway back to the second holiday hat. This was my first time using the Brava, and while it is crazy soft (softer than any other acrylic I have been contact with before) I discovered darn near right away that the yarn had been knotted. Right near the beginning, which was really disappointing. I have been fortunate in that most of my skeins haven’t had the issues. Luckily I was able to finish the hat with no more issues.
Unfortunately after I finished the hat I came across three knots within a few yards of each other. So I’m a little bummed. Other than that the hat turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. No clear idea on it’s intended owner, so for now it sits in the box with the other waiting to be gifted knitting.
Well that’s it for me today, until next time!
Our second day in Denver, dawned bright and clear. I was able to get a serious look at the mountains, which are as breathtaking as I had hoped.
Our goal for the day was to head “down” to Colorado Springs to meet up with my husband’s brother and his wife and head to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. The drive down there was beautiful, proof?
Horace enjoying the view as we drove through a few suburbs/towns. He was just as enchanted with the mountains as I was.
That is just the view from a gas station, when I look out while getting gas here, all I see is houses and buildings and more cars, if I am lucky a tree. Can you imagine having this as just your view for getting gas? Dude how do they get anything accomplished in that town? Why aren’t there more people just sitting around in groups of two or three just staring at the mountain, basking in the awesomeness?
Ahem, anyway we eventually made it to the zoo.
Horace was particularly taken with the sign. I think he hopes to be big like a giraffe when he grows up. The best way to summarize the zoo experience…awesome. I have been to zoo’s in a few different places and while they all have something unique to offer this one was just full of surprises. The first thing you notice is that it is all uphill and so for the majority of the time you climb. The second thing you notice?
The fact that you get to be pretty up close and personal. Your very own Introverted Knitter was able to feed a (few) giraffe(s.) There were also opportunities to feed an elephant and some budgie birds. Check out some highlights from the trip below.
The zoo was not the largest I have been to, but it was definitely the most interactive and one of the most enjoyable. If you are ever in the Colorado Springs Area, definitely check it out. Not to worry there is more of the trip to come. Tune in next time when I attempt to dazzle you with “some rocks” and my amateur photography skills.
I leave you with this question, help settle a debate between my husband and I:
Is this little guy cute or not?
*Disclaimer: No Horace’s were harmed in the making of these memories.
This past Friday found the husband and I rising early, (stupid-o’clock in the morning) kind of early and heading to the mile high city (Denver,CO.)
This was my first time getting to see the mountains (not counting the time I flew over them back in high school) and I was more than a little excited. We drove and drove (and drove) and can I just say that Nebraska (like most of the Midwest) is very flat and boring after the first three hours?
Luckily we hit the border (a little after the time change) and finally some scenery changes! The biggest surprise?
Now I am not normally the biggest fan of snow, but for some reason it didn’t bother me as much. Luckily along the way we managed to spot a fun sign.
Sadly I couldn’t convince the man to stop to see if there was yarn. After driving for another few hours, we finally managed to make it to our destination relatively unscathed. My excitement mounted as I waited for my first glimpse of the mountains, but as luck would have it, it ended up being too cloudy to get a decent view, although we did manage to see the skyline.
After a brief respite in our hotel, we set off on our first adventure of the trip, a tour of a local whiskey distillery, Stranahan’s. The tour was pretty awesome, they break down the process and walk you through the history of the brand (and some whiskey making 101) and at the end you get a chance to try out their brand.
Not being a Whiskey drinker, I ended up giving the majority of my tasting to my husband (who is a Whiskey drinker) he says it was very good, smooth and robust in flavor. All I could tell you was it burned. We ended up picking up a bottle and a “weeble wobble” (the distillery’s unofficial term for their Dram.) As an early Christmas present.
We had dinner at the pub attached to the distillery, where I got a chance to try out an oh so delicious hard cider, (my drink of choice btw) Colorado Cider Company Pear Snicke. I would recommend the pub and tour (of course) to anyone in or visiting the area. After an entire day of travel and full bellies we headed back to the hotel preparing to relax and unwind, we realized our luck had started to turn…
I finally got to see some mountains.
I may have mentioned a time or two that my mother and I have different tastes in colors and fashion. I am someone who prefers to stay within naturally occurring colors, and even within that I tend to be drawn to more fall and winter colors. My mother is the exact opposite, she prefers bright, flashy and very much in your face. Do you know about the latest trend towards neon colors? She loves it, absolutely loves it, whereas I find myself wanting to cry out that my eyes are melting whenever I happen upon a tennis ball bright object. Fashion is the same way.
As I shared back when I worked on the scarf of doom, being a knitter you can often find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place, also known as knitting stuff you really don’t like out of yarn you really don’t like, for people you really do like. Yeah, my mom’s gifts tend to consistently fall in this category. Now I hear you asking, “Introverted Knitter, why do you knit gifts for your mom, if they drive you nuts/make you want to throw yourself on to a pile of dpns/seem to make you blind from an overload of colors?” Well my dear reader, it is because like most knitters I have this undeniable urge to
smother wrap those I love in woolly goodness, (well except my bestie, I don’t want her to actually die, so she often gets bamboo or silk.) I am a knitter, and I want to use my skills to share with others a gift of my time and an expression of my love, (well that and it is easier to justify the yarn stash this way.)
So here we are, on our way to the holidays and I am once again faced with the task of figuring out a gift for my mom. Now I have given her a variety of knitted things in the past, but this year was the first time she mentioned a desire for some woolly goodness. She works at an elementary school and part of her job entails going out during recess. It would seem, my lovely readers, that my mother is in need of a hat (and possibly some mittens.) Well as a knitter I pounced on the idea of providing a solution to a chilly problem. I combed the stash for some of the brightest and most outrageous colors I had, and success was achieved.
Behold, the product of a Cyber-Monday induced yarn purchase.
This Easter Bunny brightly colored ordeal is destined to be a hat. I am 99% sure my mother will love it, (in no small part because the colors make me want to shiver.) So here I go plunging into the depths of
hell a hat for the holidays.
Have you ever found yourself knitting something so totally out of the norm for you, as a gift for someone else?
Brr. Fall has decided to skip the warmer parts in favor of giving us the middle/tail end portion the past two days. It really isn’t too bad, just a sharp contrast to the warmer than expected weather of last week. I am definitely loving it (and not just because I am a knitter.) Speaking of knitting, victory was achieved on the fingerless mitts they were finished with enough time to wrap them (the husband did that as per our agreement, I knit, he wraps.) Of course in my
haste excitement over finishing I completely forgot to get a photo (strike one for me.) My dad actually ended up being out-of-town this past weekend (slightly defeating the purpose of rushing to finish,) but I can put that aside and focus on the fact that I finished.
The knitting continues as I struggle to make my way through mid terms. I seem to be alternating between, “holy cow, we are at the halfway point already?” And “holy cow we are only at the half way point ?!” School is…going. It definitely isn’t what I expected (although I don’t know what that is exactly) and while it hasn’t been terrible, it hasn’t been great either. I find myself wondering if it is really worth it at this point? I know that theoretically this leads to better paying job/chance to explore a new avenue of knowledge (did I mention I switched majors? I am now in a hybrid program of molecular biology and computer science (aka Bioinformatics) fun times.) It is just that I am struggling with the whole being in school thing. I see friends and family having careers and working on building their lives and here I am perpetually stuck in my early twenties (figuratively speaking of course.) I feel like I haven’t really moved forward, and won’t get to do so for another 2-4 years (which isn’t that long in the grand scheme of things, but definitely feels that way when you are living in an apartment with elephants walking around upstairs.) I am sure a large part of this has to do with the whole mid terms thing, but it still doesn’t make the questioning/doubt go away. If I weren’t in school I am not sure what I would do at this point (beyond look for a job, which went oh so well this past 1.5 years /end sarcasm.) I guess I just needed to have a little vent, and you all are lucky enough to be that sounding board, so for today this is where I end. Thanks for reading this today. I promise a return to the knitting content soon(ish.)
So I managed to knock almost all of the first fingerless mitt, leaving only the thumb, because frankly I hate the thumbs. I always end up with that tiny little gap and while I have spent countless time searching for a solution the best advice I seem to find is to use the tail to sew up gap, which frankly leaves me just as annoyed as before I searched. Well that’s a lie, I think I end up being more annoyed because I had just spent time dealing with it, but I digress.
The first mitt is seen here,
having been bent to my will nearly complete, as mentioned above it has been completed since this photo. By the way the book shown above is pretty fabulous, if you were looking for a gift for a knitter, rest assured this would be handy little one to get. (Book is The Knitter’s Book of Finishing Techniques by Nancie Wiseman for those inclined to ask.)
I have cast on for the second mitt and hope to finish before the evening is out…we shall see, it may come down to this or homework, guess which one I am inclined to do?
Happy Weekend everyone!