Monday, January 31, 2011

Bless Me For I Have Sinned

Today I made a huge mistake.  I have no idea what I was thinking.  Today I went out to get my car fixed without my knitting bag.  (I offer the pathetic defense that I had no idea I would be there for more than 20-30 minutes.)

I know.  I was in the waiting room all of about 30 seconds before I realized my mistake.  I knit my Mr. Mittens thumbs in my head, and prayed that elves were hard at work at home.  Alas, no.

So, $1200 and 2 hours later, my car runs fine and my knitting is no further along.  (That's the thing about car maintenance: it costs a fortune to get your car running the same way it did just a few days before.)  So while I paid $10 per minute for my car to run the way it did last Thursday, I managed to NOT knit two thumbs and a cast-on of the tam I'm teaching in class next week. 

I will do better.  I have learned from my mistake.  I promise.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Behind Schedule

I'm in a cold sweat.  I have a lot of winter knitting I've committed to, and winter is winding down faster than I'm knitting. (Didn't I just say last weekend that I wasn't letting the backlog scare me? WRONG!)

The Mr. Mittens are mostly finished.  The Two Color Brioche rib scarf took a back seat to mittens and schoolwork.  My brioche vest is visible as a tiny speck on the horizon, and seems to be getting farther away.

My best friend from childhood is owed gloves.  My daughter helped me design No H8 mittens for herself, and I haven't made them.  I have a class to teach on a sweet, slouchy tam, and haven't chosen yarn or started the project.  (I've made this pattern before, but not for years.) My socks are waiting in my "go" bag, and I treat them like a mistress, a guilty pleasure.

I need to stop committing to projects.  I think I need to write this stuff down, and make much more vague agreements as to when things will be finished.  Of course, then I wouldn't have these adrenalin-creating panic attacks.  Where's the fun in that?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

No H8 and Peace Mittens

This is a free pattern that I've been working on for my daughter, Analisa.  She's facinated by the No H8 movement.  No H8 is the left mitten, and Peace is the right.  If you want to make them both the same, use the chart for the back twice, and use the chart for the right palm and left palm.  (This way the thumbs will be in the right places!) I'm really happy with how the motif knits up! If you make these, please send me a pic, or post it on Ravlery.  Thanks!

Materials: Size 5 needles
Cascade Yarns 220 Sport

White - Main Color
Black - Contrast Color

Makes women's size large mittens, 8.5 inches around and 8.5 inches long. For smaller or larger size, decrease or increase needle size respectively.

The cast on for the mock-rib wrist  (52 sts) is fewer than the stitches for the mitten body (60).  In the solid color row before the main mitten pattern, increase on stitch every 8 stitches to achieve the 60 sts needed.

This pattern is designed in the round, with a mitered top and a mitered afterthought thumb.  It can be worked flat, using the edges of the pattern for seaming.  Enjoy it!  And I'm always happy to see pics.  Thanks!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Creating a Giveaway, Freebie Friday

I've been thinking for weeks about doing a giveaway on the blog.  The question is, what to give?  Yarn?  Patterns?  A book?

I have loved meeting knitters from around the world through this blog, and appreciate the feedback, both to my email and in the "comments" sections.  It would be nice to find a way to say "thanks for your support".  Currently I'm thinking either yarn or a book.  Mystery yarn or book?  Or should I publish a picture and write-up?  Which yarn?  Which book?  (I have a few ideas...)  This is a good one for feedback, folks.  Let me know what you think.

On this Friday, the freebies are happy ones.  Both of today's patterns are in worsted weight yarn, which makes them pretty quick knits.  The first one is this fabulous Hostess Cupcake Hat, which cracks me up just thinking about it.  I plan to make it for my 5 year old nephew, and I know he'll love it.  It's a super simple hat pattern with an I-cord for the loopy icing.  Winter is only two more months long, so I'll have to get right on it!

The second is the Taos Crossover Vest.  It's beautifully simple in its construction, and with the selection of so may variegated yarns out there, you can make this as funky or subtle as you like.  Something wild in parrot colors or a vivid solid would make a fun statement, don't you think?  In cottons it's a good spring wardrobe builder.  In wool or cashmere it's a great winter layer.  I love when a pattern is versatile!

So many patterns - so little time.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Building Character

I'm trying to be more Zen in my knitting.  Balance and completion...  I've been prone to ridiculous bouts of Startitis, casting on everything in sight.  I've finished knitting a project, and left the finish work for weeks or months.  I've modified a pattern, not made notes, put it down for months, and gone back completely perplexed as to what the heck I was doing.

I'm still prone to all this, but I'm doing better.  I'm not a Zen Monk, though.  I haven't gotten my knitting journal anywhere near up to date, but I make notes of my modifications on post-its attached to the pattern.  I do my finish work.  I never have more than three things on the needles at a time, one portable, one for home, and one for a class or testing out one of my new designs.  Usually. 

Recently I didn't buy any yarn for a whole year, committing to working through my stash.  Why did I do this?  Was my stash threatening to overtake the oven, kitchen cupboards, and shower?  (Only a little.)  Was I cutting back on my knitting? (Perish the thought.)

No.  I enjoy my knitting more when I savor the current project. As much as I hate to admit it, I can't knit as fast as I can find beautiful fibers to buy.  (Dammit.)  I still feel some backlog pressure, but it's more vague: I look forward to working on that brioche rib vest,  I want to get those mittens done for my husband, and I can't wait to test out this punk sweater for my daughter.  Someday I will either covet less or knit faster.  For now, unrequited yarn lust is building character.  At least, that's what I tell myself.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Treble Music Mittens

This is a pattern I designed that I've been working on for a couple of weeks now.  It's finally done!  The mittens above were knitted by "PaiviH" in Finland.  It's a charted pattern with some written support.  I'm really happy with how the motif knits up! If you make these, please send me a pic, or post it on Ravlery.  Thanks!

Treble Music Mittens Pattern - $6, available on

Mission Falls, We Barely Knew Ye

Mission Falls Pattern and Yarn

As of January 1, 2011, Mission Falls yarns is no longer produced.  It was a small Canadian yarn company that produced yarns, patterns and buttons, all of distinctly high quality.  It was widely distributed for only 5 years, but the company has been in existence for over 18 years. 

I found and fell in love with Mission Falls yarns about three years back.  I love the textures and colors of their products. (1824 cotton and wool, for example.)  The original yarn was licensed to CNS yarns 5 years ago, which seemed to have some quality and consistency problems, earning the beautiful colorways a reputation for pilling and knots among some knitters.  For those who got the good stuff, though, it was addictive.

Most LYS and online knitting outlets have their products on sale now, and I would encourage you to look at both the yarns and the pattern books.  The patterns are filled with colors and whimsy, well outside the usual knitting fare.  

This is not the first time that Mission Falls has declared they were ceasing production, but with a farewell letter on founder Mags Kandis' blog, I think it's permanent this time.  Grab the yarns and patterns while you can.  Sadly, Mission Falls will soon just be a fond memory.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Free Patterns for Frigid Monday

It's -7 in Buffalo today, and even the best built houses have a draft here and there on days like this.  Just the thought of going outside makes my teeth chatter!  What better to add to your outfit than a cozy wrap?  Bigger than a scarf, they're the versatile layer that can go with just about any ensemble from suits to jeans.  (Sorry guys, this is a girl thing.)  Here are some patterns I know you'll enjoy:

From Classic Elite Yarns is this beautiful La Gran Stole.  Pick a color, pick a yarn, and knit this up quickly.  The pattern is easy, and the look is elegant in mohair, casual in cotton, and versatile in wool.  Don't let the lacy look fool you; lace can be very warm in mohair or alpaca!

From Naturally Caron is the Santiago Entrelac Shawl.  Thick and cozy, this is a basic entrelac pattern with a beautiful effect.  Make it in the staple colors of your wardrobe for a go-to garment to moderate those drafts.  Make it in a slightly shimmery fabric for a unique evening wrap.  Make it in white mohair or alpaca and it's perfect for a winter bride!

I hear the coffee pot beeping. (Thank you inventors of Mr. Coffee!) Keep busy and stay warm!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Punk Knits

I've discovered that I prefer to knit in proximity to chocolate, coffee, and wine, depending on the time of day and the mood I'm in.  I'm sure I could be convinced that all of them should be nearby if I tried.  Today it's an odd combination...

Knitting calms me, concentrating on the work and the pattern.  The rhythm of the needles, the softness of the yarn, they become entrancing.  Sometimes it's just a way to keep my hands busy so I won't throttle anyone. 

I've cranked the TV while watching the Matrix (killer soundtrack, lots of explosions), chowed dark chocolate peanut M&M's and red wine, and wouldn't talk to anyone.  I don't want to be angry.  I'm a Buddhist, for heaven's sake.  But sometimes I am.  I just need to let it wash over me like a storm cloud.  Sometimes I need a little thunder and lightning with my storm cloud. Hence, blasting the Matrix.  The M&M's and wine are just recreational.

This puts me in a great mindset to design for my kids.  They don't want my Country Club chic stuff, and they don't want anything Normann Rockwell. Revolutionary leather-clad rebels and loud music set a different tone.  The designs came easily today, but it makes me curious where I'll find the kinds of color palate I want.  I'd like a blend of traditional and acid colors.  Any ideas?  It would be great if I could find all the colors in one yarn that's either superwash or not wool, as I have an allergy.  Tell me what you think!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Freebies

I'm feeling like a homebody lately, so I've decided to offer free patterns for home use this week.  Today we have a beautiful Felted Bowl from Knitvana. Made with a 100% wool yarn (not superwash!) this bowl will be easy to knit up, and it's a super first-felting project.  You can choose a variegated yarn, self striping, solid, or create your own striping pattern with yarns in a couple of different colors.  Make it to hold your pocket change and keys, or recently collected pine cones, or anything you can think of!

This eponymous Tea Cozy has admirable spunk, and the added benefit of colorwork!  For all of us who like our tea hot, tea cozies are a winter necessity. This one covers the pot from handle to spout, keeping your favorite infusion piping hot!  Those knitted treats don't look half bad either.  No calories!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mr. Mittens, Cloth/Square, Etsy

I've finished one mitten body of the Manly Mittens I'm making for the Mr.. I am accepting that the decreases in the pattern as written are all one direction, making it easier for a knitter new to colorwork to finish off the shaping and closure of the mitten.  The pattern is not quite maintained for the last 7 rows, and if this is not your preference, you can substitute mirrored increases.  I knit the pattern as written just to see how it looks. For those who are really OCD about patterning, this won't work, but generically I'm impressed that there is as little interruption as there is. 

Keeping in pattern during decreases for new Fair Isle knitters is like trying to put pantyhose on a kitten.  It's not too successful, and everybody loses. This is an ideal solution.  I showed the Mr., and he loves it, insists that it needs a thumb, and never even noticed that the pattern changes a little toward the top.

I've added another baby blanket/dishcloth square to the collection today.  It really takes a long time to get things translated from original drawing to uploaded computer file!  Soon there will also be an Etsy shop will more involved designs available. First, I need to tackle my pharmacology final, though. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oak Leaf Square/Cloth

Another cloth in the series of Lodge designs for a dishcloth, pillow motif, or small blanket square. As always, the dimensions are 38 wide x 50 rows tall.  Use US sevens and a worsted weight.  Enjoy!

Better Than Chocolate, Mr. Mittens

Better than chocolate, really.  Oh, man!  Epiphany by Cascade is incredible.  60% Royal Alpaca, 20% Cashmere / 20% Silk, this yarn is a worsted weight that comes in 12 beautiful colors.  Better than that, it is the softest, easiest to work with alpaca blend I've ever touched.  It's very warm, and due to the silk and cashmere contents it's strong and it doesn't grow! The price is good, too.  At Karma Knitting in Williamsville, it's $28 for 273 yards. Why better than chocolate? Delicious without calories!

The Mr. Mittens are going along nicely.  (See Manly Mitts in Free Patterns, above)  Making the substitution of needles has really done it this time.  The pattern is easy to knit and easy to follow.  I'm teaching a version of this pattern in a mitten class this Sunday as a "First Fair Isle" project, and wish I had started on something like this!  The carries are short (translation - easy) and the pattern is only 4 stitches wide and 2 rows long.  If Fair Isle makes you nervous, I would suggest these as a project to get over your fear. 

Most people worry about the pattern puckering, which is the most common problem for folks new to the technique.  I suggest you pay attention to your carries (the yarn of the color not used on a particular stitch is "carried" behind.)  Bring them along at the same tension you always would, even if you're just taking the yarn from one stitch to the next.  No tighter, no looser.  Your work will be flat and smooth.

Folks also complain about the two colors getting twisted up between the work and the skeins, but there is a simple solution.  Once you introduce your contrast color, choose one yarn to be "the bottom" and one to be "the top" yarn. (Usually the contrast color is used as the "top" yarn, as it will have slightly smaller stitches and therefore be slightly less prominent.)  As you drop the "bottom" yarn to knit with the "top" one, make sure you always bring the "top" yarn over your working yarn. Bring the "bottom" yarn up under the working yarn when it's time to use it again.  If you do this, your colorwork will be even smoother, and your yarn will twist rarely.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Frogging Mr. Mittens

I made enough headway on the first Mr. Mitten for him to try it on.  Too tight. The gauge was about 1/5 of a stitch to the inch over the recommended. (Too many siiches per inch = tighter, too few = looser than the listed finished size.) No, I didn't do a gauge swatch.  Yes, I'm an idiot.  I ripped it back and started over. Frog! (I use "frog" as a knitting curse word. Doesn't everyone?) This is only relevant because this is the fourth mitten pattern I've tried to make for the hubby.

Normally I make mittens just fine the first time.  I've made over two dozen pairs. No problem.  Except when I'm knitting for the Mr..

Every time, the gauge and chosen yarn either work out a little too tight or too loose.  I rip back and start again.  Usually twice.  I give up.

Apparently it is a karmic ask for me to learn to get an exact mitten gauge in colorwork.  This time I'm changing needle finish, too.  I was knitting on aluminum, which for me tends to knit the loosest of needle materials.  (Bamboo knits tightest.) I've switched to two sizes up, plastic, which on flat knitting gives me the right gauge. But flat and circular gauge are a little different sometimes. We shall see.

To cleanse my mind of the failure a little, I did reverse the colors.  Now the multi is the cuff.  Otherwise the pattern will look about the same.  Oh, and I'm teaching a variation of this pattern next week.  One found in Marcia Lewandwoski's Folk Mittens.  (I have a finished pair I made for myself a couple of years ago.) It would be nice if I had a WiP to show the class, complete with thumb work. Wish me luck!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Works in Progress, Free Patterns

This is a good week; a little headway on the Mr. Mittens (using the recently posted Manly Mitts pattern in a heavy worsted), a little work on the Reversible Brioche Rib scarf, and a little work on My Socks.  On top of that I've completed writing two patterns, and posted lots of charts (this week's free patterns) on the Cloths/Squares page and on Ravelry. Still not on Ravelry?  Once you open an account you can roam tens of thousands of free patterns, see what other knitters are up to, and so much more!  Climb aboard.  If you'd like, ask a current Raveller for help. (Like me!)

The My Socks represent my ongoing infatuation with Nichole Sock Yarn by Schaeffer.  This stuff is a pleasure to knit up, wear, and even to wash!  It dries pretty quickly, too.  I know I'll have to branch out beyond this stuff some day, but Buffalo winters beg for cozy, cheerful socks, and this yarn is the magical weight between dress socks and too heavy.  (I know for a fact that this yarn is seeing other people, and I see them in public from time to time.  As long as I get to keep these socks as souvenirs of our relationship, I'll tolerate it.)
The Reversible Brioche Rib is a lovely, meditative process.  Since you work each row twice, once in each color, it's slower going than it appears.  It isn't like trudging through quicksand, though; more like choosing to meander on a walk.  I knit on this project less than I'd like, and it ends up feeling like the midnight ice cream snack a dieter sneaks! (I've owed the Mr. a pair of mittens for a long time.) There need to be more knitting hours in the day!  With a big final on the horizon for school, it'll probably be another week or so until I get back to 2-3 hours of knitting per evening.  I really feel like a kid waiting for summer vacation.  COME ON!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Adding Charts, Mr. Mittens

I've spent quite a bit of my time in the last few days typing dozens of my designs into my computer.  Then I started posting the charts to Ravelry.  (I'm LizMarino) So many!  Yeesh!  I will do my level best never to be this far behind again!

The first priority are the little ones: the dishcloth/babyblanket square size ones.  I had no idea there were so darn many of 'em.  The whole Lodge Collection is in, and I'm adding in Baby. After that, some more little squares. Next will be bigger blanket squares, then small garments, then larger garments. And that doesn't count whatever I end up designing in the meantime. Check the pages above from time to time, as I will be updating for the next couple days.

The Mr. mittens are going very well, but slowly as I have been dividing my knitting time between my needles and my keyboard.  I'll post a pick in a day or two.  The Reversible Brioche Scarf is sulking in the knitting bag for now, only about 6 inches long.  A girl has to make these tough choices sometimes...  I really owe the Mr some mittens, so they're still winning.  More time would be nice.  And more coffee...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Zen, Karma and Knitting

In Zen philosophy, one guiding principle is living each moment with intention.  That is, you live only with the effects on the others, environment, and world at large that you intend to have.  Masters of this principle are adept at saying only what they mean to, leaving no ambiguity, and acting without recklessness or disregard.

These are skills that are seriously useful in knitting, and yet not always fun (or achievable!)  As I carefully and thoughtfully grafted together the toes on my "Girlfriend Socks", I could not have been more focused.  I was not in a hurry, or stressed. I was not drinking my evening glass of wine.  (It was skipped on this evening to make sure I was clearheaded when working the Kitchener.)  And yet, two-thirds of the way across the graft of the toe, on a sock that was until now knitted entirely in one piece with one continuous strand of yarn, the unthinkable happened:  the yarn broke.  During the graft.  Almost done.  But not quite.

I uttered several very un-Zen words.  How far back do I go to join a new piece of yarn?  How do I ensure that the new yarn join won't cause a blister?  Is this a big enough flaw to make the gift un-givable?

I tipped the box of wine and watched the Merlot swirl into the glass. And then it hit me.  Another Zen principle is that nothing is perfect, and nothing is permanent.  I sat and drank my wine with intention for a few minutes, and then decided to go with the flow.  I only ripped back a smidge, joined the yarn, and moved on with my grafting.  It went flawlessly this time.

Karma is the circumstance of bringing about inevitable results onto yourself in this life or the next by the quality of your actions.  Whose Karma broke the yarn?  The yarn manufacturer's? Did I do this? Did the recipient Karma herself into blister-causing socks?  Accepting imperfection as part of reality is much easier to do than achieving perfection.  I will focus, and intend good work, but I will learn to accept the inevitable intervention of Karma, too.  At least some of the time it has to make me look good, right?

Friday, January 7, 2011

History, Free Patterns

I've been reading about knitting's American history, and learned a few things that surprised me.  The biggest surprise by far is that sweaters weren't knit in the US in any significant number until WWI.  Until then, knitting was usually about socks, hats, and shawls.  Another stunner: knitting for babies didn't take off until rationing in WWII made it difficult to buy baby clothes for newborns and infants, leaving mothers to get creative on their own.  Since knitting was considered a "patriotic duty" most women could easily whip up baby things out of yarn scraps.  The third surprising thing I learned is that wool was in such short supply due to the military demands for uniforms, bedding, and bandages, that re-using wool from all sources was commonplace.  Wool used for clothing, upholstery and carpeting was re-carded and re-spun into wool in factories and sold as "reclaimed", or sometimes "rag" wool.  New or "virgin" wool was largely allocated to the needs of our "boys over there".  When it was available, it was a pricey luxury.

All the history reading has made me think about my own knitting history, and that of my family.  The grandmothers both knit.  My mother knitted for her children. And at around 7 she and my grandmother taught me to knit.  I knit a sweater for my teddy bear, and a big raglan-sleeved mock turtleneck with graduated stripes.  I only knit occassionally for years.  Then I had a hysterectomy 8 years ago, and decided to spend my convalesence knitting.  I grabbed up two sweater patterns, a chemo cap pattern, and a ton of yarn, and I was back.  The yarns are amazing, and the patterns are so much more fun than I can every remember them being!

I've been looking for patterns to share with you that represent my knitting history, and here's what I've found:

Teddy Sweaters, click here.
HalfDome Chemo Caps, click here.
Manly Mittens, click here.

Thanks to the original designers who published these patterns in a free format.  Knitters are so cool that way! These were fun patterns for me, and I'll make them again, I'm sure.  Enjoy! 

Manly Mittens

Teddy Sweaters

Half Dome Chemo Cap

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Notes for Wednesday

Some random Wednesday notes: 

I've added a "Cloths and Squares" page. I'll be adding charts for dishcloths/blanket squares fairly frequently as I translate my drawings to computer files.  If you have a particular square you'd like to see, let me know.  I'll try to get the favorites up first.

This blog is now available through for Kindle through Amazon.  It's been available for a week and the feedback is great.  Now you can take Karma with you!

I was just updated that Nancy Marchant, the brioche knitting maven I've praised in the last couple of posts has an article in the current Vogue Knitting.  Take a look! It's a good one!

People keep re-reading two old posts, Mean People Suck, and Where You Buy Your Yarn.  (Available in Archives to the right.)  Many people have mentioned how glad they are that as knitters, we're generally a mellow, happy group.  The Angry Shopper is rare, and seeing one reminds readers of how very rarely it happens.  The Where You Buy Your Yarn post brings comments like: "You wouldn't bring your own food to go eat in a restaurant," and "Based on how much yarn I buy, my LYS will never close.  I keep them in business all by myself!"

Thanks for the emails.  You're welcome to post your comments right to the blog, too.  I'd love to be able to share all your remarks with everybody!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It WORKS! Brioche Rocks

It works!  It works!  I'm so excited!  It works!  I am now officially in love with Nancy Marchant and her cool website,  After spending about half an hour working with her directions on her website, I had a little success.  I didn't really understand what she meant by indicating casting on over two needles, so I eventually abandoned that plan, and just followed all the rest of the directions.  And they work!  I made a little teeny swatch! Whoopee!  I am about as pleased as the day I earned my driver's license.  Now the next step will be to cast on the scarf and settle into a rhythm on this stitch, and get really excited about the vest that will come after.

For those of you who may be keeping track, yes, I'm also working on mittens for the Mr..  They will be the feature of a mitten class I'm knitting later in the month, so I need to get them done for 2 reasons.  The mittens take priority. The mittens are for home knitting, and the shop.  The brioche rib scarf will have to be on an "after I finish so many rows of the mittens" basis until the mittens are done; otherwise, I'd devote myself to the brioche nonstop.  I'm always a sucker for my newest project, but this way I'll have something to work towards!

Monday, January 3, 2011

There Really is Hope! 2 Color brioche 4.0

Hard to believe, I think I've got it.  I've done several rows, and they look like they're supposed to.  I'm quitting for the evening, and I'll photograph and post in the morning if they still look good to me then.  Cross your fingers!  Thanks!~

Two Color Brioche - The Continuing Saga

The holidays have come and gone, and things are settling back down to normal around here.  I've seen a few knitting friends in the last few days, and the long and short of it is this: I have not found a two-color brioche teacher yet.  I thought I had one, but she turned out to be thinking of something else.  When I mentioned my dilemma to my Mr., he suggested I just borrow a pastry cookbook.  Then he wondered where the colors come into it.  I explained that it was a knitting thing, and his face visibly fell as he realized I wasn't about to bake some brioche.

As always, I am not a loss for projects, but I haven't given up on the brioche thing, either.  As a knitting teacher, I always feel funny about not being able to perform a particular stitch.  (Does this mean I have nothing to offer as a teacher?) I don't know whom to ask for help. I've decided the next two steps in my journey will be to attentively work with the website (run by Nancy Marchant), and to order the book Ms. Marchant wrote called Knitting Brioche: The Essential Guide to the Brioche Stitch.  Ms. Marchant is Vogue Knitting's go-to expert on the brioche, and the work I've seen in photos from her book is stunning. (Why isn't two-color brioche covered in any of the Vogue books?) She has directions on her website which appear to be a little different from what I've been able to find so far, and I'm hopeful.  No video, though, so we'll see. The book also has several pages of directions with photos. So I will patiently knit socks as I wait for my book to arrive, and perform lessons while staring at the website.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Knitting in 2011 is going to be different for me.  Resolutions have never been a process I've done, but I've seen it work for other people, so this year I'm in.  In 2011 I resolve to:

1. Knit during classier TV shows.  No more Ginsu Knife infomercials for me, no!  I'm going to knit during Masterpiece Theatre and Inside the Actor's Studio.  This will add an air of class and sophistication to my work, not to mention a pretentious accent.

2. Knit with more color.  I knit with subtle, muted earthy colors now (brown and black), and nature has shown us that this is a losing strategy in evolution.  Adaptability and bright plumage are what have allowed the alligator to make it this far, and I need to liven up my palate at least as far as the beautiful colors of the all-enduring alligator. I will branch out into green.

3. Knit every day. Right now I knit almost exclusively at night, and the knitting is getting self conscious about it, like I'm embarrassed to be seen with it or something.  No more.  I will knit proudly in the daylight every day.  In my house.  Alone.  With the curtains closed. (Baby steps.)

4. Knit with white wine.  White wine doesn't stain.  Need I say more?

5. Knit with more recycled materials. Right now I knit with my grandmother's WWII era needles as much as I can, and seam up with her tapestry needles.  (God, I miss her!)  I have since learned from a girlfriend that if you go to yard sales, you can get a whole bunch of used needles and notions for the change under your car seat!  New addi turbos are $15 a pop.  That would buy all the needles in a whole town of yard sales!   No more new stuff for me - recycling is in.  Oh, and it keeps stuff out of the landfills.

6. Realize that size doesn't matter. What are we, men?  We should not be so preoccupied about measuring things.  Gauge swatches, palm circumferences, chest measurement, yardage... All that is nonsense.  What matters is that I finish stuff. Who cares what size it is?

7. Come up with new knitting sayings.  Everyone knows "close knit" and "spinning a yarn."  How about "it's a wrap" - well, bad example.  Or "balls to the wall" - crap.  Or "stick it", "pins and needles", "coming unraveled" - um - on second thought, there are plenty of good knitting sayings.  I resolve to use them more often.

That's it.  This changes everything!  It's going to be a wonderful year.